Placing raw meat and other foods in a pot right before Shabbos

Raw food:

Raw meat-Placing on fire right before Shabbos:[1] Completely raw meat [which is unable to become cooked in time for the Friday night meal] may be placed right before Shabbos in a pot that is on an uncovered fire, even if the rest of the food in the pot has already begun cooking and is not yet half cooked.[2] By doing so, it permits the rest of the food in the pot to remain over an open flame despite the fact that the food is not yet half cooked, and thus circumvents it of the Shehiya restrictions. However, this is only valid if the raw meat is placed into the pot on the fire very close to the beginning of Shabbos, which is by sunset, in a way that will not begin cooking before Shabbos starts.[3]

Other raw foods-Placing on fire right before Shabbos:[4] The above allowance to place raw foods on the fire right before Shabbos only applies to raw meat, as raw meat placed right before Shabbos is impossible to become fully cooked for the night meal. However, other raw foods [which are not usually eaten raw, as explained next] such as [hard] vegetables, and legumes or grains[5], and the like [of foods which require cooking to be eaten], are forbidden to be left on an open flame into Shabbos unless it has been cooked before Shabbos to the point of Ben Drusaiy [i.e. half cooked].[6] If one transgressed and placed it there, whether inadvertently or whether advertently, and it was not cooked to the point of the food of Ben Drusaiy from before Shabbos, then it is forbidden until enough time has passed after Shabbos to be able to cook them.[7]

Foods that are edible raw-Do they contain the Shehiyah restrictions?[8] Fruits that are eaten raw, such as apples and the like, do not contain the Shehiyah restriction. Thus, they are permitted to be left to bake over an open flame into Shabbos, even if it is very close to Shabbos and there is no time for them to become even half-baked from before Shabbos.[9] However, foods which are never eaten raw, or are only occasionally eaten raw and are better cooked than raw, such as an onion, contain the Shehiyah restrictions. Thus, it is forbidden to leave them over an uncovered flame too close to Shabbos to the point that it will not be able to cook to the point of Ben Drusaiy [i.e., half cooked] before Shabbos.[10]

Q&A regarding raw meat

If the raw meat will be fully cooked prior to daybreak on Shabbos day, does the above leniency still apply?[11]

It all depends on if the food will be ready by a time that it is commonly eaten by people in the home. For example, if the food will be fully cooked in time for the main course of the Shabbos meal, as is usually the case when the raw meat has been cut small, then it is forbidden. If, however, it will only be ready by midnight, which is a time that no one plans to eat from it then it is valid. However, if one is accustomed to taste the food towards midnight, then once again it loses its leniency.

If it is possible to raise the flame and thus cause the raw meat to be fully cooked by the night meal, does the above leniency still apply?[12]

No, as in such a case the suspicion that one may raise the flame to quicken the cooking fully applies.


When exactly before Shabbos does the raw meat have to be placed in the pot?[13]

It must be placed in close enough to Shabbos that the food will not be able to begin to cook before Shabbos, even if it will have the ability to warm up.[14] This matter is very difficult to verify, and thus the above leniency of placing raw foods on an uncovered flame before Shabbos is difficult to place into application. Nevertheless, from the letter of the law, as long as in one’s estimation the meat will not begin to cook before Shabbos, it is allowed, if the other conditions explained in the previous questions are fulfilled. [Thus, one who is accepting Shabbos early, may still follow this leniency as long as it will not begin to cook by the time that sunset arrives.]

Does the leniency to place raw foods on the flame apply to any other foods other than meat?

There are opinions[15] who rule that legumes which require much time for them to cook may be placed on the fire right before Shabbos if they are raw. Others[16] however argue that no such leniency applies by any food other than meat.

What is the definition of meat? Is chicken and other poultry defined as meat?

This matter requires further analysis.


[1] Admur 253:8; 254:13; Michaber 253:1; Shabbos 18b

[2] The reason: As the raw meat saves the food from the prohibition of leaving uncooked food on an uncovered flame. The reason for why we do not suspect that one will come to stir the coals by raw meat, while by foods which have begun to cook, we do suspect is because since the food is now raw, one removes his mind from it until morning [Shabbos day], as by [Friday] night, the food will in any case not be ready even if he stokes the coals. As well there is no reason to suspect that he will stoke the coals, so the food be ready for the Shabbos day meal, as since the food is on the fire from the nighttime until the next day, it is able to be cooked for Shabbos day even without stoking it at all. [Admur 253:8]

[3] The reason: The reason for this is because if one places it there while it is still day [a while before sunset] then it has already cooked a little prior to the entrance of Shabbos, and one will thus have to remove it [from the oven] before dark [i.e. Shabbos begins], unless it is already cooked to the point of the food of Ben Drusaiy [½ cooked] before Shabbos comes in. [Admur 253:8]

[4] Admur 253:8; Admur 254:13; Michaber 253:1; Shabbos 18b

[5] Admur 254:13       

[6] The reason: The reason for this is because by other foods even if they are now raw, nevertheless if one were to stoke the coals it is possible for it to be fully cooked for the night [meal], and we thus suspect that maybe one will try speed up the cooking so it’s ready for the Friday night meal. [Admur 253:8] [The reason for this is because by meat,] since the meat is completely raw close to Shabbos it will not be able to be ready for the night meal[6], however [by legumes it is forbidden as] all types of legumes are quick to cook, and can thus be ready for the night meal. This same law also applies to all types of Vegetables [as explained in the 253:8]. [Admur 254:13]

[7] Admur 254:13

[8] Admur 254:4-5; Michaber 254:4

[9] Admur 253:4; Michaber ibid

The reason: The reason for this is because foods which are normally eaten raw and are not better when cooked, are no less different than a roast which has been roasted to the point of the food of Ben Drusaiy. [Admur ibid] Meaning since they are eaten raw, they have the same logistics as do foods that have been ½ cooked, in which we rule that they may be left on the fire Erev Shabbos without restriction.

[10] Admur 253:5; Michaber 253:3

[11]  Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 1 page 324; Biur Halacha 253 “Mashiach Daato”

[12]  Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 1 page 325; Piskeiy Teshuvos 253 footnote 35

[13]  Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 1 page 327; Piskeiy Teshuvos 253:4

[14] To note however that the Chazon Ish [37:22] learns that the definition of beginning to cook is when it reaches Yad Soledes. Seemingly on this basis the Shevisas Shabbos concludes that today in which we accept Shabbos early, with Tosefes Shabbos, this allowance is no longer applicable. However, Rav Farkash rules as explained above for reasons written there in Shabbos Kehalacha.

[15] Ketzos Hashulchan 71 footnote 10

[16] Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 1 page 330

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